African Rainbow Capital Investment’s Patrice Motsepe. Picture: SUPPLIED
African Rainbow Capital Investment’s Patrice Motsepe. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Competition Tribunal announced yesterday it has approved the proposed merger of a subsidiary of African Rainbow Capital Investments (ARC) and the Commonwealth Bank of SA.

ARC is bidding to acquire the other 90% of the bank it does not already own, and which houses the TymeDigital banking platform. The stake is currently held by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia which is developing TymeDigital into a “full service digital bank”.

While ARC already has a number of investments in the financial services industry, the completion of the transaction would result in ARC’s first foray into banking and one of the few investments it owns outright. It will also result in TymeDigital becoming the country’s first black-owned digital bank.

According to TymeDigital’s website, it aims to provide “affordable and accessible banking services through a growing network of partners. Increasing awareness about financial services and their responsible use through financial education is an essential part of its plans to grow the market in South Africa and win customers”.

Some of the technology employed to achieve this was originally acquired from a local fintech business. It was granted a provisional banking licence last year.

ARC will now await approval from the Prudential Authority, which supervises banks, before the transaction can proceed.

Correction: October 26 2018

The article has been changed to refer to the Competition Tribunal, not Competition Commission.

ThompsonW@businesslive.co.za